Thank You for Paying Taxes

Thank You for Paying Taxes April 17, 2018

There are plenty of reasons to gripe about taxes, but what if we used this Tax Day to thank the people who pay their taxes and appreciate everything they pay for?

I, for one, always use Tax Day for that purpose. I remind myself that (1) paying taxes is the price we pay for living in a civilized society, and (2) if I am unhappy about how the money is being spent, I need to participate in the political process.

Here is my open letter to every single taxpayer.

Letter to the Taxpayer

Dear Taxpayer,

Thank you. I know you have worked hard and that you have bills to pay. I know that the days are long and sometimes the ends don’t meet like they should. I also know that you didn’t have a choice whether or not to pay taxes, but I am still glad you did.

Thanks to you, my two children get to go to school every day. I am thankful for the infrastructure, curriculum, teachers, and coaches that your tax dollars helped pay for.

Thanks to you, I get to drive on roads every day, most of the time without paying anything extra. I have access to all types of roads, from the narrow streets in my neighborhood to the highways that crisscross this country because of the money that was deducted from your paycheck. I am sincerely grateful.

Thanks to you, law enforcement officers patrol my neighborhood and help to keep my community safe, I have access to a complex interwoven net of utilities, including electricity and clean water, and there exists a whole host of regulations that were (generally) designed for beneficial purposes.

Thanks to you, there are people who are eating today who would otherwise have gone without and people who have a place to stay who would otherwise have been out on the street. Your tax dollars may not be helping everyone, but thanks to your contribution, there are poor, old and sick among us who are doing better because of you than they would without.

Like you, I may not appreciate all the elements our government equally, but I am still grateful for your contribution to the collective well-being and security of all those who live within the borders of our nation.

Our system is far from perfect, but at least we (still) have a say in the process.

With sincere gratitude,

Gudjon Bergmann
Interfaith Minister, Author, and Speaker
Founder of Harmony Interfaith Initiative

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